The Winter Guard wrapped up its competitive season with a second place finish March 31 at the Midwest Colorguard Circuit Finals in LaPorte, Ind.
The team of five determined students worked hard throughout the season with their interpretive dance movements, flags, mock rifles and mock sabers, improving their score with each performance.
“The members of the Lincoln-Way East group, though small in numbers, are mighty in spirit and talent,” said Clif Smith, chair of the music department at Lincoln-Way East.
The team began its competitive season with a lackluster score of 59.7 at its first competition of the season, placing 5th in out of five groups in the Scholastic A class.
But in six short weeks, the team improved its score by 27 points, earning second place at its final competition of the season.
“We didn’t give up,” said sophomore Brigid Clark. “We just kept trying.
“The most important thing is not what place you finish in, but what you take away from the situation,” agreed senior Brigitte Waldier.
Teammates Vanessa Jimenez, Michelle Lindeman and Caroline McCahey said they matured a great deal during the season, learning to be more independent and responsible.
“It’s a big time commitment,” McCahey said of Winter Guard. “But once you get started, it becomes part of your routine.”
“We all pushed through a lot and did a lot to make it a successful season,” added Lindeman.
The girls were led by Winter Guard staff members Karen Hart, Cara Lawson and Caryn Lawson.
All three instructors are Lincoln-Way grads. Hart graduated from in 2005; the Lawsons graduated from Lincoln-Way East in 2009.
Even the graphic artist who developed the floor design, Josh Wilson, has ties to Lincoln-Way. He teaches the Lincoln-Way Marching Griffins Drumline.
Returning to Lincoln-Way to lead a new group of students in the Winter Guard program has been a treat for Hart and the Lawsons.
"I got so much out of the (Winter Guard) program when I was (a student at Lincoln-Way East),” said Cara Lawson, who continues to march color guard with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps with her sister, Caryn.
“(This) is an excellent way to give back to the school,” she added.
For those unfamiliar with the Winter Guard activity, it is the sport of indoor color guard incorporating many of the elements that you see during a competitive marching band show, said Smith.
“Winter Guard is heavily steeped in dance, interpretive movement, as well as the use of flags, mock rifles and mock sabers,” he added. “Successful participation in the activity requires dedication to learning and perfecting a series of skills.”